Saturday, November 2, 2013

Papal Bull, by Joe Wenke

In this book, the author makes clear his opinions on particular aspects of Catholic doctrine.  A cutting, satirical look at Catholic beliefs regarding saints, Mary, birth control, the treatment of women, and of course the huge scandalous cover-up of molestation.

This is a book with little gray area.  Currently practicing Catholics are going to hate it.  Former Catholics and those who morally oppose everything about the Catholic Church will love it.  I am attempting to review it from an objective perspective, favoring neither of those two extremes.

On the one hand, I think the author raises a lot of valid points regarding doctrinal contradiction and hypocrisy.  He clearly is well educated in catechetical topics.  However, I do get the impression that some of the statements and language used in the book are for shock value.  And, I suppose that is ok; if the author feels the need to shock us, that purpose is clearly served in the book.  However, I think that a book would be more likely to convince someone were it based more of fact and research, instead of using shock tactics and some of the same old anti-Catholic sentiments that have been around for years.

I suppose, though, that the book's main purpose is not to convince anyone, but instead to amuse people who already share these same beliefs.  That is ok by we, know your target audience and give them what you want I guess.  Regardless of whether or not I agree with any portion of the message of this book, I think it does what it sets out to do, and it does it pretty well.  

Again, this book is probably most appropriate for those who are at odds with the Catholic church in some way, or those Catholics who are not easily offended.

I received a review copy courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.


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